This fits like a glove alongside Solti's vibrant Decca recording of the Third
Act that was recently available on a superbly remastered Classic Sound CD.
That was recorded as a 'trial run' to the famous and justly legendary Decca
Ring and has been perhaps slightly overshadowed by that awesome achievement.
This live 1947 Bavarian relay is astonishingly good, the conducting is almost
vintage Wagner and the team of soloists is altogether quite superb. One has
to bring in mind the seriously demoralizing wartime conditions in which this
white-hot performance took place, making it even more of a marvel in
accomplishment. Solti takes a hectic ride through this ponderous First Act,
from bar one, the Munich basses attack the music with almost fanatical gusto.
Marianne Schech's 'Sieglinde' is quite grossly underrated; a short sample
of the superb opening duet is just a foretaste of her splendidly ebullient
Wagner singing. The same could be said of Franz Volker, a towering Siegmund
especially in the beautiful 'Wintersturme' piece. Friedrich Dalberg is also
a commendable Hunding although he does not come close to other notable exponents
of the role. At the center of this all, the demonic figure of Solti drives
everything along with pure passion and it must have been some evening on
that night of the 7th May in the Prinzregentheater. Wagner collectors and
Solti enthusiasts should definitely snap up this excellent recording, remastered
in adequate sound and with some extensive documentation that continues to
increase Solti's reputation as one of the great Wagnerians of the 20th century.
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